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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Too late to convince me otherwise. It's a done deal....

I got all the yakima parts to put surfracks on my shell: bars, towers, locks, and artificial rain gutters.

Anyone install these brackets before? I know I gotta drill a pilot hole first to avoid damaging the fiberglass.

Any other advice about sealing the bracket holes so it doesn't leak? Should I use silicone, or caulking?

I figure I need longer bolts too. Anyone remember what size works best? I'm headed to the hardware store today.

thanks!
 

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I mounted the front towers to the cab gutters. You'll need the length for a board/skis/kayak. Go slow drilling the glass or it will splinter out.
 

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Billdo
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i did exactly wat your doing, drill slow and make sure you drill straight. i used marine grade black silicone. dont use the little pos gaskets they give you
 

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Measure once, cut twice...

Take your time. I've done a lot of drilling on Harleys installing racks, spoilers, rails, and all kinds of other stupid crap. Definitely drill your pilot hole, and make sure your drill bits are sharp. You may make a quicker time of it by eyeballing the rack on the roof rather than measuring (that's how I do it). Good luck, post the photos when it's finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the advice gang.

I started yesterday. You're right. Measuring doesn't work. The best I could do is use a caliper to make sure the brackets are even above the line of the window.

But in the end, I ended up eyeballing it. I taped the brackets on the marks and looked at it from every possible angle.

Drilled the first hole, got down to the metal plate and the drill bit I was using wouldn't penetrate the metal. I had to abandon the project until today when I got some better titanium drill bits. Now I'm driving around with a hole in the shell. I'll resume tomorrow at work....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Done!! :chili:

I couldn't really find a good way to measure the bracket placement. The best I could do was to use a calliper to make sure the brackets were the same height above the edge of the window.

This method doesn't really work when you go back further where the window line starts to curve. I didn't want my racks too far apart because sometimes I strap shortboards up there.

Another thing was to measure and mark where the clothes hook is so the bracket doesn't interfere with the bracket. I also measured the distance between the brackets once I found the spot I liked. Other than that, it was a matter of putting masking tape on the back of a pair of brackets, sticking them to the shell and then just eyeballing it.



I used this titanium tipped drill bit that's self-piloting. I tried it on one hole and it worked pretty well without a drilling pilot hole first, then changing the bit.



NOTE the pic above with my marks. I went as low as possible because I have to park my truck in a parking garage at my part time job. So I wanted to have as much clearance as possible.

One word of advice I have for others that are undertaking this project is to place the brackets a little higher. The reason is that, as we all know, there's a metal plate under the shell. My marks for the bolt holes are right where that metal plate either ends or is doubled up. Whatever it is, there's a ridge right there that misdirected the drill bit if I wasn't careful. This gave me a really hard time on the passenger rear bracket for some reason.

Also, you need to drill with a light touch because the fiberglass outer shell gives way to a vacant space before you hit the metal plate. Leaning hard on the drill will cause you to dive in too fast, hit the metal plate and possibly wreck your hole.

I thought the drill bit was going to rip the headliner apart when it surfaced in the cab but it didn't. Just a small puka:



The bolts that come with the Yakima Side Loaders were way too short to make it through the fiberglass shell. So I went to Home Depot and picked up 2 1/2" carriage bolts. They went through far enough. You might get away with 2" bolts but that's a little close for me. I just guestamated.



Here's how far they come through.



Another piece of advice: Watch your drilling angles. It's the difference between the carriage bolts resting flush or a little off. Here it is nice and flush:



I wasn't so lucky with this bracket. the drilling was a little off-angle causing the bolt to sit at a bad angle and the square under the bolt head doesn't go into the bracket's square hole very well:



All I could think of to waterproof the brackets was to apply silicone sealant. I used this stuff:



This is what it looked like. I put it in the hole around the bolt, around the bracket, and around the outside of the bolt. I hope this does the trick but only time will tell. I'll post a follow up after a while if there's a problem



Here's the finished project. No more wrestling with three surfboards inside the truck.



Thanks for the advice guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One more thing:

The Yakima crossbars come in either 66" or 78". The shop I got them from was out of 66" so they sold me the 78" at the same price.

I ended up cutting 11 3/4" off the 78's so a 66" bar would have been perfect.
 
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